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A BAYESIAN THEORY EXPLAINING FUNCTIONAL SENSORY MOTOR SYMPTOMS

Abstract

A joint meeting with the British Psychological Society's Division of Neuropsychology, the UK Functional Symptoms Research Group and in collaboration with the Association of British Neurologists Cognitive Special Interest Group. This meeting was held at

The Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London.

Dr Mark Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in Neurology at the UCL Institute of Neurology and an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He has a clinical and research background in Movement Disorders, and the use of neurophysiological techniques to investigate their pathophysiology. He has a particular interest in functional motor symptoms, and runs a research program exploring their pathophysiology and treatment as well as a specialist clinical service for patients with functional movement disorders.

Functional neurological symptoms are common and disabling. Historically there has been significant interest in why such disorders might occur, in particular focussing on the role of psychological trauma. However, there has been less interest in how the specific kinds of symptoms seen in patients can arise from the brain given our knowledge of functional architecture. In this talk I will explore the application of a theory of brain function based on Bayesian inference to the understanding of functional neurological symptoms, and how this provides one way forward to generate testable hypotheses on how functional neurological symptoms arise from the brain.

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